The scene is set at the Kellers’ who have new neighbors now since the Deevers no longer live with them. He chats with his friends- Jim (Doctor) and Frank (a superstitious man) and are discuss about the uprooted tree that was planted as tribute to Larry Keller whose plane went missing in the War.
Both the neighbors are happy to learn about Annie Deever, who is visiting the Kellers. She was Larry’s fiancé and has not married even after his probable death. Soon, Joe’s other son Chris arrives.
They both also discuss about the tree and the fact that Chris’s mother has not yet accepted the truth about Larry’s death. They do not want to break her heart so are worried about her naïve optimism. Chris informs about his intention of marrying Annie.
They are joined by Kate who harps about the broken tree and believes it as a sign the Larry was not actually dead. Both Joe and Chris try to calm her expectations but she rebuffs their apprehension.
Then, Ann enters the scene. They talk briefly about her father Steve, who is still in jail. Ann is uncomfortable with the stigma that it has brought to her and her mother.
Joe does not want to criticize Steve as he knows that it was his idea to sell the defective parts to the Army and that Steve was just following his advice. Ann and her mother do not know about this secret and blame Steve for the deaths of pilots whose planes crashed during the War including Larry.
Chris proposes to Ann even though Kate does not approve of it. She feels that Ann is still Larry’s girl who will return to marry her. Then Ann’s brother calls her to inform of his visit to their father’s prison and that he was coming to see her that night.
This causes a nervous stir among the Kellers who suspect that George might have talked to Steve regarding the trial.